In Boston sports, there are few things people dread more than seeing a new player struggle in their transition to the city. And let’s be honest, it happens in baseball at a very high rate, especially with pitchers. Josh Beckett, John Lackey, Rick Porcello, David Price, etc. But you know who you can’t put on that list? Chris Sale.
That’s because Chris Sale has been one of the best pitchers in baseball–per usual–since switching up his socks from white to red. In his first four starts, he’s allowed three runs in 29.2 innings pitched. Oh, and he has struck out 42 batters in that timeframe, in case you wanted to know how dominant he was on paper too. Obviously, it’s not really a secret when you watch the games though. He just goes out there and dominates.
Here’s a comp that will make you feel even better about Sale:
1st 4 GS w/Red Sox
Sale- 29.2 IP- 0.91 ERA – 0.71 WHIP
6 BB- 42 K- 15 H
Pedro- 32 IP- 0.84 ERA- 0.72 WHIP
7 BB- 44 K- 16 H
— Boston Sports Info (@bostonsportsinf) April 20, 2017
Is he Pedro Martinez? Uh… gonna go with a hard no there, but that’s a dude who also thrived in Boston. Plus Sale is 27 right now, so he’s technically coming up on some peak years. Sure, Fenway is a hitter’s park, but a good defensive outfield (you know the kind with Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Mookie Betts) can save runs, so perhaps he benefits from that too…
Part of the reason Sale might be thriving in this city is because of his attitude. He seems like he does not take notice of any outside distractions, plus he is familiar with the American League, which should make it easier for guys–even though it’s evident that’s not always true. Also, whatever throwing program the Red Sox have probably didn’t bother him either. Sometimes, it’s a tough transition. See: Tyler Thornburg.
At least Sale is guaranteed his rotation spot if/when David Price comes back…